A good night of sleepgoes far – into a good and productive day

G Shankar Ramm, Joint Managing Director, Peps Industries Pvt Ltd

G Shankar Ramm, Joint Managing Director at Peps Industries Pvt Ltd unravels the basic nature and some gaps in consumer psychology when it comes to buying a mattress. In this interview, he unlocks the future direction of the mattress industry

Q How should the mattress industry adapt to the post-pandemic era?

What has the God created us for? Think and you will instantly know that it is– to live well, to eat well and to sleep great. So from that perspective, the opportunity for this country is mind-boggling. We need to make people understand that their sleep is very important. We need to tell them to treat sleep with utmost seriousness. So that way, sleep is a big big opportunity in this country.

Q How has consumer behaviour changed in this country in the last 18 months?

Today the consumer is more of the Youth segment – that’s a big base. They are more into the e-commerce platform. They are, hence, more sensitive to price-competitiveness and they are not looking at delighting themselves. That’s the journey of the first purchase and a hint of the future times to come. That’s what we think. What is still happening then is that cheaper products are in big demand and the ‘sleep quality’ part is, still, not well-understood in the market.

Q What kind of innovations can shape in the next 24 months?

The country is looking for good quality mattresses. We are evolving well. There is a big potential for the next 25-30 years. So the sleep industry is getting stabilised. Each company is looking at how to innovate and improve continuously. Generally, it is through a different material and giving a different level of comfort to the customer. It is hard to say what new kinds of innovations come up next.

Q Peps is a leading spring mattress brand in India. You have a good stronghold in this space so far. So what next?

We have some big opportunities in front of us. But we need to expand ourselves in other parts of the country and that’s what we are looking at. We were hesitant so far but now the time has come to expand well. We need to go back on the same drive as we did earlier. A lot of people still associate spring with a sofa in a grandfather’s house. They still think spring is not good for sleep. That’s a feeling in the consumer’s mind.

To remove this block we need to accentuate big awareness and marketing campaigns. Educating people and changing this perception is an evolving strategy. We have a couple of good strategies that we are working on.

 We have grown stronger by word-of-mouth in the last ten years. If a customer has bought a mattress and then some other family member liked it and asked for it – and then s/he also bought it. It is a mind-blowing opportunity. People buy cars to show others. But that’s not the case with mattresses. A mattress is something a person uses every day. I still say ‘wow’ every time I sleep on my mattress.

We make sure we do not confuse a customer when he visits our showroom by telling him/her that we sell a foam mattress or a coir mattress, we are very clear that we sell spring mattresses and we are different. We want to grow this segment with a long-term horizon.

Q Value and cost-effectiveness are strong points for a purchase for early buyers. Do you have such brands in your portfolio?

We do have such brands and we want to have a decent gradual growth in this segment. We mainly focus on spring mattresses. We are mainly looking at quality proposition. Like – we have done a lot of research and development work on unique features.

 It will take some time but we are working hard on it. We are doing reasonably well. We are not looking at dominating this space. We are looking at growing at a speed that we want to hit on a year-to-year basis.

ISPF is an industry body which promotes importance of sleep and role of mattress for a Indian consumers. ISPF plays very important role in connecting Indian bedding industry ecosystem. ISPF also acts as bridge between India and international players.